Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Today's News-Wednesday, May 28th

Graffiti artists vandalized Tremont borough property over the weekend. Borough officials are offering a reward of $25-hundred-dollars for the arrest and conviction of the individuals who spray painted obscene art at the municipal building and the letters KKK at the bottom of the borough pool, according to the Republican and Herald. Officials believe that the vandalism took place between Friday and Saturday. The pool is slated to open by mid-June. The damages are estimated to be around $1-thousand-dollars.

A Tamaqua man will stand trial for pushing another into a mine last month. 23-year-old Richard George waived his right to a preliminary hearing yesterday on charges that he pushed 23-year-old Nathan Bowman into the hole after the two men argued on April 25th. George is charged with aggravated and simple assault and other offenses. Bowman suffered broken bones and head injuries in the incident.

State police are investigating criminal mischief at an area elementary school over the Memorial Day holiday. Schuylkill Haven troopers say that playground equipment at Blue Mountain Elementary west was damaged sometime over the long weekend. Estimates of damages are at $800 dollars. The investigation as to who damaged the sliding boards is continuing.

Firefighters in Schuylkill Haven were called to a borough manufacturing plant for an oven fire last night. Reports indicate that the oven caught fire at Draka Cableteq on Willow Street, the former Tamaqua Cable Company before 10pm. The blaze didn't cause much damage, but smoke forced employees out of the building. There were no injuries.

A rash of fires in Port Carbon over the past month prompted residents and borough officials to rally the troops to find out who set them. A special meeting was held last night to discuss the fires, which included several brush fires, two trash bin fires and four structure fires. The most recent, a garage fire, was set on Saturday. Officials don't have any suspects as yet, according to the Republican and Herald. But, they are asking all residents of Port Carbon to keep their eyes and ears open for any suspicious activities, and to report them to police immediately.

The Coaldale American Legion Home Association has been charged with possessing gambling machines. The Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement in Allentown released the information that the organization permitted gambling on its premises, relating to a March 19th incident. Among the charges filed were possessing or operating gambling devices, permitting gambling, pool selling and lotteries and other offenses. The charges could bring fines and a possible license suspension.

Next week, experts will gather for a working conference to address the environmental impact of the state's agricutural production. A specialist in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences says, even if you're not a farmer, you can weigh in on the state's environmental future. Gary Abdullah has more:

ABDULLAH (click to listen)

WASHINGTON (AP) - The cable TV box is moving toward extinction. A leading television manufacturer, Sony Electronics, and the National Cable and Telecommunications Association say they've signed an agreement with the nation's six largest cable companies, including Comcast. It will allow viewers to rid themselves of set-top boxes, yet still receive "two-way" cable services, such as pay-per-view movies.

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) - There's a shake-up in Luzerne County's juvenile court. President Judge Mark Ciavarella will no longer preside over juvenile cases. He faced intense criticism recently, including claims that he failed to tell juveniles they had the right to a lawyer. Luzerne County Judge David Lupas will take over juvenile court matters starting today.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A local Boy Scouts chapter embroiled in a battle over gay rights is suing the city of Philadelphia to avoid eviction from their headquarters. The federal lawsuit seeks to stop the city from evicting the Scouts or from charging the group about $200,000 a year in rent. The Scouts currently pay $1 annually for the space. The city says it cannot keep subsidizing the rent of a private group that discriminates.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Pittsburgh-area sports radio host Mark Madden has been permanently taken off the air by ESPN. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has quoted Madden as saying he had hoped Sen. Edward Kennedy "would live long enough to be assassinated." The Massachusetts Democrat has a brain tumor. Madden made the remark during his show Wednesday.

SPRINGBORO, Pa. (AP) - The Crawford County coroner says a grinding machine wheel exploded and killed a man at a factory. Coroner Pat McHenry says the victim, 35-year-old Michael Robinson, of Conneautville, was working at Erie Tool & Forge near Springboro when the explosion happened shortly before 7:30 a.m. Tuesday. McHenry ruled the death accidental due to multiple blunt force trauma.

WHITE HOUSE (AP) - President Bush is in the Rocky Mountain region today. He'll speak at the Air Force Academy's commencement and also hit two fundraisers for John McCain in Utah.

WASHINGTON (AP) - A Democratic Party analysis says the rules require Michigan and Florida to lose at least half their convention delegates for holding their primaries too early. Hillary Clinton won the majority of the vote in both states and says their delegates should be fully restored.

CHARLESTON, W.V. (AP) - Across the country, natural gas companies and speculators are trying to lock up long-ignored drilling rights. But, stories of fast-talking industry representatives using scare tactics to strong-arm people into
signing lowball leases are on the rise.

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. (AP) - The mother of a college student missing in Vermont says her son's body has been found in a creek. Police confirm a wallet found on the body belonged to 19-year-old Nicholas Garza. An autopsy is scheduled today.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - An Israeli tourist who stripped naked when New Zealand road workers whistled at her is now in a mental health unit after a second incident. The woman was arrested Friday night after allegedly stubbing out a cigarette in the face of a bar worker.


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